Volume 44, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0731-3500
  • E-ISSN: 2214-5907
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This paper presents two types of maledictions in Thadou-Kuki. The first deals with the various forms of maledictions which on the surface appear as though they are curse words in terms of their forms and meanings. But a close examination reveals that the mere presence of such maledictions does not constitute cursing. Rather, it is the context of who said what to whom and why that determines whether they should be interpreted curses or not. The second deals with words that are used purely as abuses or insults and, as such, do not have such semantic or pragmatic ambiguities like the various forms of maledictions. The paper shows that maledictions are expressed with the help of imperatives of which the directive - and the command are used with slight nuances in meaning. That is, with the latter, the wish is more pronounced and indicates the true intent of the speaker to inflict harm upon the addressee, which the former lacks. Abuses or insults, on the other hand, are momentary emotional reactions to the things that happened around the speaker and unlike true curses are not carefully thought out expression of words. They are rather words that the speaker picked up as and when the situation demands and may involve an element of bragging.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): abuses; cursing; Thadou-Kuki; Tibeto-Burman
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